Factors associated with rural practice among Australian-trained general practitioners

Gillian A. Laven, Justin J. Beilby*, David Wilkinson, Heather J. McElroy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine the factors associated with general practitioners' current practice location, with particular emphasis on rural location. Design: Observational, retrospective, case-control study using a self-administered questionnaire. Setting: Australian general practices in December 2000. Participants: 2414 Australian-trained rural and urban GPs. Main outcome measure: Current urban or rural practice location. Results: For Australia as a whole, rural GPs were more likely to be male (odds ratio [OR], 1.42; 95% CI, 1.17-1.73), Australian-born (OR, 1.95; 95% CI, 1.55-2.45), and to report attending a rural primary school for "some" (OR, 2.21; 95% CI, 1.69-2.89) or "all" (OR, 2.79; 95% CI, 1.94-4.00) of their primary schooling. Rural GPs' partners or spouses were also more likely to report "some" (OR, 2.75; 95% CI, 2.07-3.66) or "all" (OR, 2.86; 95% CI, 2.02-4.05) rural primary schooling. A rural background in both GP and partner produced the highest likelihood of rural practice (OR, 6.28; 95% CI, 4.26-9.25). For individual jurisdictions, a trend towards more rural GPs being men was only significant in Tasmania. In all jurisdictions except Tasmania and the Northern Territory, rural GPs were more likely to be Australian-born. Conclusions: GPs' and their partners' rural background (residence and primary and secondary schooling) influences choice of practice location, with partners' background appearing to exert more influence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-79
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2003
Externally publishedYes


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